The Andrews Labor Government is introducing a new draft plan and continuing to invest to protect wetland areas along Port Phillip Bay and the Bellarine Peninsula.
The Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar Site Management Plan will provide greater protections to ensure the environmentally significant wetlands are properly cared for.
The draft plan has been developed with the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and sets out strategies that will guide management of the site over the next seven years, with the objective of protecting and maintaining the site for years to come.
It comes as the Corangamite CMA is set to receive its share of a $2 million state-wide investment to help protect wetlands in the Port Phillip Bay and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar site.
Sites across the state will receive funding through local Catchment Management Authorities to develop a management framework to ensure the sites are protected from decline.
The draft plan covers wetlands across 22,650 hectares, including Point Cook, Cheetham, Werribee, Avalon, Point Wilson, Limeburners Bay, Swan Bay, Mud Islands and the Lake Connewarre wetlands.
Port Phillip Bay and the Bellarine Peninsula has long been recognised for its native flora and fauna, waterbirds wetland vegetation, seagrass, saltmarsh and mangroves.
The site is home to more than 20,000 waterbirds, 20 of which are international migratory waterbirds from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea that are protected under international agreements.
The area is recognised internationally through its inclusion in the Ramsar Convention – an intergovernmental treaty that focusses on the conservation of wetlands around the world.
The Labor Government is investing $222 million over four years to improve the health of our waterways and catchments.
The draft plan was developed with extensive consultation with the community and local organisations, and delivers on the response to the Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO) audit of Victoria’s Ramsar program.
Further consultation will begin shortly, to allow Victorians to have their say on the future management of these iconic and ecologically important wetlands. For more information and to participate in the public information sessions head to, ccma.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“The new management plan will ensure Port Phillip Bay and the Bellarine Peninsula remains a thriving, healthy environment for generations to come.”
“We’re continuing to invest in the Port Phillip Bay and the Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar site, it’s an important community asset, which provides opportunities for recreation, birdwatching and education.”